Former eBay execs get jail time for ‘excessive’ harassment marketing campaign towards couple

Two former eBay Inc safety executives have been sentenced to jail on Thursday for finishing up a marketing campaign to harass and intimidate a Massachusetts couple by means of threats and disturbing house deliveries after their on-line publication drew the ire of the corporate’s then-CEO.

Jim Baugh and David Harville have been sentenced to 57 and 24 months in jail, respectively, for his or her roles in an intensive harassment marketing campaign that concerned sending the couple cockroaches, a funeral wreath and a bloody Halloween pig masks.

US District Choose Patti Saris, who imposed the sentence throughout hearings in Boston, referred to as it a “hard-to-imagine” scheme fuelled by a “poisonous tradition” on the Silicon Valley e-commerce firm.

“It was excessive and outrageous,” Saris stated.

She ordered Baugh, eBay’s former senior director of security and safety, and Harville, its former director of worldwide resilience, to additionally pay fines of $40,000 and $20,000 US, respectively, after pleading responsible to cyberstalking-related expenses.

From Baugh’s responsible plea in April:

In court docket, they every apologized to David and Ina Steiner, a married couple in Natick, Mass., who produced the publication EcommerceBytes and spoke of being relentlessly terrorized by eBay’s workers.

“As brokers of eBay, they made our lives a dwelling hell,” David Steiner instructed the decide.


Prosecutors stated senior executives deemed the publication essential of eBay and a risk to its enterprise, and in August 2019 then-Chief Govt Officer Devin Wenig texted one other government that it was time to “take her down,” referring to Ina Steiner.

Wenig, a former Thomson Reuters government who stepped down as eBay’s CEO in September 2019, was not charged, although seven different individuals have been. A spokesperson stated Wenig had “completely zero data” of the actions they undertook.

Then-eBay CEO Devin Wenig is proven at a convention in Washington, DC, on Nov. 8, 2018. It was reported that Wenig was upset over feedback within the couple’s publication, however he has denied any involvement within the marketing campaign directed at them. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Photographs)

Overseeing the marketing campaign was Baugh, a former Central Intelligence Company worker who, in keeping with his lawyer, felt stress to do one thing.

At Baugh’s path, the Steiners acquired nameless, harassing Twitter messages, weird emails, and undesirable house deliveries like spiders and a ebook on surviving the lack of a partner, prosecutors stated.

It was additionally alleged that pornographic magazines with the husband’s title on it have been despatched to a neighbor’s home, and a Craigslist advert posted inviting events to sexual encounters on the victims’ house.

Civil case excellent

Prosecutors stated different eBay workers concerned included Harville, who Baugh recruited with a contractor for an “op” to surveillance the Steiners and to strive unsuccessfully to put in a GPS tracker on their automotive.

EBay apologized to the Steiners final yr.

“The misconduct of those former workers was unsuitable, and we’ll do what’s truthful and acceptable to attempt to handle what the Steiners went by means of,” the corporate stated. “The occasions from 2019 ought to by no means have occurred, and as eBay expressed to the Steiners, we’re very sorry for what they endured.”

The couple have sued the corporate and Wenig, amongst others, with the Boston Globe reporting within the spring that makes an attempt to settle the lawsuit out of court docket have to this point failed.